...this is just one indication among many that the poor may not, after all, always be with us, in what is one of the great under-reported developments of our time. Last week the UN’s blue-chip Human Development Report confirmed that governments have surpassed their target, three years early, of halving the share of the world’s population living in extreme poverty between 1990 and 2015.
“Never in history,” it concludes, “have the living conditions and prospects of so many people changed so dramatically and so fast.” And that could be just the beginning: other researchers have even estimated that by the end of the target period, the proportion could be as low as 16 per cent of the world’s people, compared with 43 per cent just 25 years before.
It isn't government that's doing this. It's not central planning. It certainly isn't Oxfam. It evil capitalists that are ending poverty - and doing so at a rate faster than ever in human history. Despite the efforts of greens, of trade unions and of politicians to stop the triumph of capitalism, it's doing what it does best - making all of us richer.